Assassins Creed III Impressions
The Assassin’s Creed series has become a cultural icon amongst the gaming community. Whether it has become known as the franchise that started a new revolution, or the possible next victim of the yearly fatigue syndrome, everyone knows it, and has more than likely played at least one. With Assassins Creed III, we step out from the ancient times, to the slightly more recent of the American Revolution.
It’s been a while since the first Assassin’s Creed, 5 years to be exact, and in that time we’ve seen 5 games made. Something I personally didn’t expect out of Ubisoft Studios. I fell in love with Assassin’s Creed, it was a world I’d never travelled to before, a time period rarely even brought up, and a concept relatively unfamiliar to gamers. Travel through an ancient world, scale massive structures, hunt knights of a secret organization, assassinate targets how you saw fit, and attempt to unravel a mystery so deep in its own fiction, they have to warn you at the beginning of the games, it really is fiction. I was hooked. A game that has spawned its own wealth of mimics, some good, more terrible, so you know they’ve been doing something right, an ability to turn a video game into a phenomenal franchise now producing comics, clothing, as well as a movie to come, and more. So 5 games, in about 5 years? Not really what I personally expected.
Assassin’s Creed III is a fun game, huge expanses of frontier, small outpost towns to explore, and cities to explore, a ton of new weaponry, a new protagonist, and more tall buildings and trees to jump off than you can shake your fist at. The story is present, and ever expanding. Learning about Conor, and implementing his Native American ways of life into the Assassin way is a blast. Hearing the authentic Native American dialect is also a treat. Nolan North obviously took a backseat to the role of Conor, seeing how he is late teenager, early adult for the game, and it wasn’t really conducive to production to make him learn the language. But the nothing story wise suffers, if anything it helps propel it forward. The side content is fun, like usual. Collecting Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac pages are fun, snagging feathers is also a challenge, and the naval battles may be my favorite side quest. Manning your own vessel, upgrading the cannons, it’s a great addition to the series. If they give the game the Brotherhood/Revelations treatment, I’d like to see that expanded a little more.
The thing that makes this game suffer is the actual game play itself. While the controls are all virtually the same as the last few entries, I found myself forgetting how to execute certain actions when I set the game down for a few days. Not that that is really anyone’s fault but my own, I just feel like they tried to do so much in the controller mapping, it became somewhat tedious to figure out how to properly shoot your bow and arrow, or catch a Red coat with the tree and trap combo. The thing that plagues the game the most is Conor’s movement. Plenty of times I found myself stuck on a small corner of a roof top with my hands pressed against an imaginary wall like a mime. Countless times I’d push him forward in hopes he’d remember how his legs worked and work up the muscle to take actually step. Plenty of times I’ve also found myself face down on rocks because of Conor’s love for jumping off things, in directions I could swear I didn’t move him in. Horse riding and combat is also pretty noticeably bad. There are certain parts you can full on gallop, as well as parts you can only trot. Which parts are you allowed to do these in? It was never really clear to me. I just found myself trying to chase down red coats in a very boring trot speed chase, while trying to stand on the horse and jump onto his, which is also shoddy at best. The map is also a mess. I don’t know if more is supposed to be unlock as I play, or its fully glitched, but I’m assuming there are no more towers for me to climb, and there are parts of the city still not unlocking, yet I can walk through them with no issues. The custom waypoint also decides to select things on its own, generally in the vicinity of the invisible part of the map.
The game seems to have a lack of guidance. In a game so huge, I just felt like I should’ve been directed a little bit more. Being a fan of the series I understand how things work, what icons mean, and how to obtain new gear, etc. If I was new to the game, I’m pretty sure I would be lost. While it’s clear what the Assassin’s motives are, I felt like I was just doing things to do them. Only a few times so far I have felt like I was really involved. Maybe it’s because of the games bugs that I have lost a little bit of interest in the title, but overall the game is still a lot of fun. The game was in development since shortly after the release of Assassin’s Creed II, but it feels like it needed more play testing, and a bit more polish. I have played a little bit of the multiplayer, but not enough to really comment on.
I can’t deny Assassin’s Creed III’s appeal. It’s a fun game, in a new setting, pushing forward a story they’ve been crafting for a long time. Game play, even with its various issues, is fun and rewarding. For some reason stabbing people in the back, fighting off what sometimes feels like hoards of Red Coats, and reloading muskets don’t seem to get old. I have NOT finished the game, I actually have no idea what point of the story I am into, but if I had to guess, about a third of the way. Based on what I’ve played would I suggest it? Yeah. Maybe not to people who haven’t played the others, the story may be too deep if you haven’t played any of the previous entries. If you have any interest in the series, pick it up. The good definitely outweighs the bad.